I facilitate Invitational Interventions, which I believe are an effective way to engage the entire family in health and healing. It takes the blame and shame off of the addicted person and enhances the relationship. The “surprise” style of interventions are effective in getting a person into treatment but often times leave years of hard feelings and mistrust. Here are several letters from past families.
I was introduced to Debbie Bayer, and in the short phone conversation and her calm demeanor, I was convinced that if this was going to work we’d do it her way, gentle and composed. Gradually convincing him that he needed help, and letting him decide that he was ready to attack this. Inside, the addict knows they need help; Debbie just guided us down the right path to rally together. He is now 11 months clean, in a great job, content in a happy relationship and relaxed! He’s content and happy. He knows he will always need to work at staying clean, and attends aftercare with a group in Family Intervention Works. We appreciate everything Debbie did for us!!
I just wanted to express my deep and heartfelt gratitude for the difference our experience with you has made in my sister’s life and the life of our family.
As you know, I was quite skeptical of the idea of a “non surprise” intervention and whether something like that could really work. But I have to say, the result has been phenomenal! My sister, as you know, went to treatment, and with a degree of resolve and ownership over the process I never thought possible! We hadn’t given up on her but had really given up on the possibility of having any impact on her addiction. We pretty much felt like there wasn’t anything we could do!
I was so impressed with the way your workshop framework both provided helpful information and laid the groundwork for a collaborative, non judgmental process. I really felt like we were working together as a team with all of us including my sister. I was particularly impressed with the way you were able to skillfully facilitate the interaction so that we were able to sincerely share our feelings and concern for her in such a way that they could be heard and create such a positive change.
The follow up sessions have also helped our family make the changes that needed to be made, and stop contributing to the problem in ways we didn’t even know about. Instead we’ve been able to start using our energies and desire to support her in ways that are constructive and helpful. You helped us make the changes and helped her go through the process to accept them.
You may have heard, but 6 months later she is still clean and sober! She is making plans and has dreams again in a way we haven’t seen in years. We’re so proud of her, and so thankful to you for making this possible! I’m so impressed with how well you listen, how deeply you understood our situation and how skillfully and with such a light touch you jumped in to help us reframe ideas that were getting us stuck.
Thank you so much Debbie! I hope you know that you are changing (saving) lives with the work that you do. You certainly have a gift and you’ve found an incredibly impactful way to give it!
Please let me know if there is anything I can ever do to help you. I’d be thrilled to have you use any or all of this as a testimonial, or to talk to any future families with similar apprehension to min for example, just let me know!
— Sincerely, KS
I wanted to stop and take some time to tell you, again, thank you.
Our family has gone through much change and healing this year. It did not take the form we wanted or expected it to. But God does know better than us, and I am learning more and more to trust in this.
First of all, I have am a dedicated and grateful member of Alanon. It really has transformed my life and energy. I am slowly, but surely, learning to “focus on self,” a difficult but valuable concept. It took me quite a while to even fathom the concept, as I am sure you could plainly see that, but I had to work toward even “seeing” it myself. I also work with a women’s process group weekly to work on my own “recovery.”
My husband and I have come together as the head of the family, more so, this year, (still working through roadblocks we put up to this, but improving greatly). We are doing some couples counseling to assist in this.
I finally told my daughter a couple months ago, that I have always told her that she is intelligent, wise, kind, capable, and strong. I know these things are true, but I have not treated her as though she was. I spent my time trying to smooth the road in front of her. I now can treat her with the respect she deserves to find her own path.
She is still in Bellingham, with the same boyfriend. They are renting a house. She worked the last year at Christian Health Care as a C.N.A. (Certified Nursing Asst.) She changed jobs about 6 weeks ago to a home care setting with six elderly residents she cares for and cooks for while on shift. She does 24 hour shifts, and they have sleeping quarters for the C.N.A’s. It has been great experience for her.
I do not know if/what/how much/often she is using; I don’t ask. All I do is see that she is functioning, involved in the family again–coming down and spending the weekend with our family to get the tree, decorate, gingerbread house decorating and fun. She spends the night and is more engaged than I have seen her in years, really. I am clear about what I will and won’t do. She has not asked for money. She is managing on her own. She has registered for one class next quarter and is paying for this herself.
My brothers are both in therapy weekly, and have decided not to drink. Both are attending Alanon meetings occasionally.
I want you both to know that the weekend we spent with you changed our lives. We were frustrated at the time, but now KNOW that belonged to us. We had work to do, and there was no “magic weekend intervention” that was going to do this. I actually think if there was, we may not have grown and worked as hard as we have. I will be forever grateful to both of you for, honestly, “holding my hand” through this difficult time. What you do, and did for us was amazing.
Debbie, your strength and wisdom was incredibly valuable as well. I think you had a tough job of introducing my family to “boundaries” and “focus on self.” We did want my daughter to go to treatment so we did not have to feel the pain and do the work ourselves. We all learned so much from you. Your recovery is such an asset to what you do. I respect and admire you too. I think your strength was what I most relied upon from you, when I called you, desperate and lost.
I hope you are healthy and happy. I wish you a Merry Christmas.
Again, I am forever touched by, and grateful to you.
— Thank you, D.S.
I had seen the show “Intervention” more times than I can count, but I didn’t feel as if this was an intervention. I agreed to sit down with Debbie and discuss what was going on in my life. My family let me know what my addiction meant to them and how it was negatively affecting each one of their lives. Debbie and my family suggested that I need treatment, but it was only encouraged. In the state of mind that I was in, I felt that I didn’t have a problem and refused to go. Treatment was only suggested, not forced, but my family had to know what there role was if I decided not to go. A week or so later, I woke up and realized that I needed help and could not do it on my own. I proceeded to call my family and ask for help.
I am 11 months sober now, and I fully believe it is because of the style of intervention that was performed on me. If I had walked into a room with all my friends and family and was given an ultimatum of going to treatment or ‘things would change,’ one of two things would have happened. Because of the state of mind that I was in, I would have either given them the finger and walked out, or I would have gone to treatment and not received anything out of it because I would have felt as if I was there for someone else, not myself.
Because of the unique intervention approach and putting the decision of treatment into my hands and not forcing it on me, is the only reason that I am sober today and enjoying my life.
Thanks Debbie, I owe you my life!!